sister Stacy loved bunnies. She raised them while growing up. Dad would
spend weekends building her hutches that looked more like the Four
Seasons than rabbit cages for the little white and brown fluffy animals
she so adored. Due to Mom’s influence, she also loved gymnastics,
reading, horses, and life. She also loved listening to Rick
Springfield. As teenagers, we took swimming lessons together at
Longshore Club Park in Westport, Connecticut. She was beautiful with a
wise-beyond-her-years moral code, and she always knew what was right
and what was wrong.
childhood memories hovered just below the surface when, during a
business school panel presentation to close to 100 people at The
University Of San Diego, someone in the audience asked me what
motivates me to do so much- train for triathlons, teach at the
university, become a serial entrepreneur. I paused to reply. Then, for
the first time in my life, I uttered out loud these words, with a voice
that was strong and clear: “When I was 14 years old, my sister died in
my arms. She was 16.”
room went silent. My heart trembled. I waited a bit, then continued.
“My sister Stacey had bone cancer that spread to her lungs. I was
trying to resuscitate her, to help her breathe, but my CPR efforts
weren’t working. When your sister and best friend dies in your arms,
something in your own life short circuits. Or rather, you suddenly
become aware of new realities.